Wednesday, October 9, 2013

honey garlic chicken

I have been using the crock pot a ton lately.  I've just decided it is way easier to try and make dinner when I can during the day rather than trying to do it when I'm trying to help with homework, run children here or there, teach a piano lesson, and/or take care of a baby.  This one was super simple and tasted great.  The chicken cooked perfectly and it made a lovely sauce that I served over brown rice.  This made way more sauce than needed.  You could probably add more chicken thighs and have lots of left overs or a second meal.


  • 1 package boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • cornstarch (1-2 teaspoons)

  1. Place chicken in the crock pot.  Mix Ketchup, soy sauce, honey and garlic in a bowl.  Pour over chicken and cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4.  
  2. Remove chicken, cover to keep warm.  Pour sauce into a saucepan (I poured it through a strainer so it wouldn't be chunky.)  Mix about a little water with cornstarch and add it to the saucepan heat to thicken. 
  3. Serve chicken over rice and top with sauce.   

refried black beans food storage style

So I went to make some slow cooker refried beans today.  I've tried my sisters recipe with success in the past, and I wanted something vegetarian tonight because we've had a lot of meat this week.  I also had nothing planned so I figures surely we had dried beans.  However, we are out of dried pinto beans.  I also haven't been to costco this week and we have run out of my diced frozen onions, our bag of mini sweet bell peppers, I'm out of garlic....  You get the picture, I need to go grocery shopping.  Great reason to make this a food storage meal right?  That's what I did.  I modified my sister's recipe first and foremost using black beans instead of pinto.  Then I also used dehydrated or dried everything.  I even added some celery and bell peppers to give it a few extra veggies.
This turned out great.   I love cooking beans in the crock pot.  I totally have to remember to do that more often.  I did think it was a bit peppery.  Would love to fiddle with the spices in the recipe - less pepper, maybe add chili powder or chipotle chili powder for spice?  However, everyone ate and loved the burritos.


  • 3 cups dried black beans
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 Teaspoon dried garlic minces
  • 4 Tablespoons minced dried onions
  • 1/2 cup freeze dried celery
  • 1/4 cup dried bell pepper mix (red and green)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons pepper.
  1. Rinse and sort beans.  Add to crock pot with all remaining ingredients.  Cover and cook on high for 8 hours or until soft.  
  2. When done, drain (saving liquid)  mash with potato masher or immersion blender or whatever you want to use to get the desired consistency, adding reserved liquid as necessary.  (My sister suggests making them a little on the runny side because they thicken over time.  
  3. Serve as a side, or add 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Italian chili

This too came from pinterest.  Found it from the same slow cooker post.  It led me to amy bites.  I really liked the idea of italian chili.  I modified it a bit, adding veggies, and changing the spiciness, leaving out the noodles...  If you want spicier, try her recipe - or just add some red pepper flakes.

  • 1 lb Italian sausage (we used home-made - YUM!)
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz can great northern beans, undrained
  • 1 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (or sub chicken, beef, or vegetable broth.)
  1. Cook sausage, breaking up as cooking.  Drain off most of the fat leaving about a tablespoon with the sausage (there really was none to drain with our homemade sausage)  Add onion, celery, carrots, Italian seasoning, pepper, sugar and salt.  Cook for 5-8 minutes until veggies are tender.  Add garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.  Transfer to slow cooker.
  2. Add beans, tomatoes, tomato paste and red wine to meat mixture in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.  

Lentil stew

Going to try to blog some recipes we've liked in the past couple of weeks.  I miss the blog when I'm looking for something we liked.
This recipe is one I found on pinterest.  I found this site with lots of links to slow cooker recipes.  The original of this comes from chocolate covered Kate.  Here is how we made it.  I left out mushrooms, and actually spinach too. I also found I needed a lot more broth/stock that the original said. If you are a mushroom lover, click the link above and follow that recipe. (keeping in mind that you might need more liquid.)   I loved the combination of flavors.  We actually made this twice.  First time my veggie broth was rancid and we had to dump it.  Such a waste.    Second time DH made it.  I had thought he left out chili powder but in reviewing the recipe, I don't see any.  Maybe he left out the cumin.  It was good that way, but I sprinkled the chili powder on it when I ate it for left overs and it was excellent.  Good enough that I had the left overs 3 times.  I thought the lemon flavor was a bit too strong the first day, but not in left overs.  Just and FYI.  I may fiddle with that next time I make this. That is the true judge of if I like something.  :)  I also love a good vegetarian meal.


  • 1.5 cups onion, chopped (always an approximation for me)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic -2-4 cloves
  • olive oil -1 tsp-1 Tbs for sauteing veggies
  • 1.5 cups diced bell peppers (I used mini sweets)
  • 6 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/3 cup dry lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or broth
  • 2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • optional (5 oz spinach)  Sounds good but we didn't use it.
  1. Saute onion in oil in a large saucepan until it begins to brown.  Add garlic, peppers, carrots, celery and cook for 5 more minutes.  (Pretty sure I added a bit more oil at this time.  I just went by what it looked like it needed.)  
  2. Add vinegar, tomato paste, fennel seeds, paprika and cumin.  Cook 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  
  3. Add lentils, broth, tomatoes, and salt.  Bring to a boil, Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until lentils are done.  Add lemon zest.  Stir and serve.  (If using spinach, add with lemon zest and cook 2-3 minutes until it wilts.  If your a fan of chili powder or want a spicier or smokey flavor, try it with a sprinkle of chili powder.  I loved the left overs like that.


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